Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Last Leaf

Finally, the last leaf let go and died, and stumbled over the air to her feet. She stepped on it and it made no sound.

Grey was the color of the sky and of the frozen river, and grey was the color of her dress. Her nearly white hair and the dress danced longingly in the sharp cold wind. She stood upon the cobblestone path that winded in unison with the river along the edge of the park.

Dying grass covered with brittle leaves the colors of dying flames blanketed the rolling hills of the park. Barren trees reached in futility toward the clouds, silent wooden sentinels observing their domain.

She gazed across the river, her bright blue eyes fading into the pale whiteness of her skin. There was a house across the river that seemed to spark a distant fleeting memory in her, but she knew not what of. She just knew that she wished the lone tear that fell from her right eye was water enough to put out the flames that enveloped the home.

Fire consumed both stories of the old Victorian style house, which by now was a crumbling shadow behind the red inferno. Grey and black smoke billowed and rose to the sky and was lost in the clouds of the same color.

Unmoving, she watched as the firefighter carried a young woman’s body out of the blaze, but even from across the river, it was clear he was too late. The limp and charred body was set on a stretcher and paramedics tried in vain to revive her.

A teardrop fell from her left eye as the clouds sighed and let loose the first of many snowflakes to come. It fluttered—gleaming white brilliance—toward her. She extended her palm to catch it, but the flake continued on to the ground, never having noticed her at all.